THE Best Beloved and I are cat lovers, but we’ve been without a cat for four years or so following Poppy Cat’s sudden and upsetting passing. During eight months of lockdown, when we saw nobody, we decided to get another cat, carefully weighing up the effect on our wildlife. After all, Chris Packham once said that cats are ‘sly, greedy insidious murderers’ and the RSPB substantiates his view, so don’t rise up! They estimate that cats in the UK catch up to 100 million prey items over spring and summer, of which 27 million are birds.
This is just the number of prey items that were known to have been caught, presumably presented to their owners as trophies. Poppy Cat caught voles and sometimes ate the bodies, but she ignored birds, and we wanted another outdoor vole hunter. Looking at mugshots of homeless cats on the internet proved pointless. The good looking ones disappeared quickly, leaving the others to linger on forlornly. Many were house cats that loved a sofa, so the search dragged on.
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Quick-growing annuals to sow now
There is still time in late spring to sow quick-growing hardy and half-hardy annuals straight to the soil, says Anne Swithinbank, as she describes the best ones to grow
Keeping it sweet
Bob explains why now is the best time to sow sweetcorn
Create a wildlife patch
Give a little space to nature’s heroes, says Ruth
Sneezeweeds are tough perennials, and now is the time to plant them to attract wildlife and fill borders with warm, fiery colour in late summer and autumn, says Hazel Sillver
Say hello to hostas
After disappointments, Ruth gives hostas another chance
Bring me sunshine!
Sow the taste of citrus with cosmos ‘Polidor’, says Ruth
Growing citrus plants
Whether you grow luscious lemons or ornate oranges, Steve and Val Bradley explain how to keep your potted citrus plants in tip-top condition throughout the year
Val looks at the pros and cons of gardening partnerships
Start thinking about cuttings
Propagation is so easy and satisfying, says Ruth
This week... lilacs
With their beautiful scented flowers, lilacs are an easy-to-grow garden classic
Giant Short Ribs
They're the ribs Fred Flintstone would order.
STORYTELLING IS EVERYTHING
Tattoo artist BJ Betts sits down with designer Frank Cooke to discuss the creative process, finding inspiration and the importance of storytelling
The Roush Review
Julia - Watching Julia Child at work and play is a four-course banquet of sheer joy
Grace and Frankie
STREAM IT NETFLIX
BOBBY RYDELL - FAREWELL TO AN AMERICAN IDOL
"Music was always everything.... I just wanted to play."
THE PROG-ROCK SUPERGROUP IS BACK WITH A LUSH NEW ALBUM, AND THIS TIME GUITARIST TED LEONARD DIDN’T FORGET TO PACK THE GUITAR SOLOS
Change the Map, Change the Moral
A global view of World War II turns a battle for freedom into a battle for empire.
TV junkman Frank Fritz’s antique store gets trashed
SYDNEY MIKAYLA EXITS GH
Sydney Mikayla, who assumed the role of Trina Robinson in 2019, has opted to leave the show to focus on academics; she's currently in her first year at UCLA. Her final airdate was slated for March 17.
THE AMERICAN WEST
ROMANCE OF THE WEST: THE WILD WEST SHO- After the Civil War, the West was romanticized by dime novels by writers like Ned Buntline and stage shows featuring frontier luminaries such as Buffalo Bill Cody, Wild Bill Hickock and Texas Jack Omohundro.